Benjamin Watson Interviews Lecrae

Human DignityImage of God

Benjamin Watson: You’re putting them in or taking them out?  

Lecrae: I’m putting them in.  

Benjamin Watson: Alright, so explain this. This is a good place to start. So, Invisalign. Talk to me about Invisalign. Why do you need Invisalign on when you are doing an interview?  

Lecrae: I mean, for me, it’s just, I feel like we’re going to be here for a good minute.  

Benjamin Watson: So, you may as well get some corrections in?  

Lecrae: May as well get some corrections happening while we’re sitting here. 

Benjamin Watson: While you’re sitting, oh. I thought it made your teeth like, glossy or something like. Do you wear it when you tweet? 

Lecrae: I wear it when I tweet, I wear it in the shower, I wear it in the gym. I’m always trying to, the Bible says, that we’re a work in progress. So, I’m always just trying to make progress.  

Benjamin Watson: You always working? I got you. I got you. Since we on Twitter, let’s start here. And I love this, by the way. But you recently tweeted, “I’m not progressive. I’m not liberal. I’m kingdom.”  

Lecrae: That’s right.  

Benjamin Watson: Now. I love that. I retweeted it. All the things. But what did you mean by that for those that don’t know? And let’s set the stage. Let’s set the stage, too, because this is in September. So, this is September. We both live in Georgia. We had a huge midterm that was coming up.  

Lecrae: That’s right.  

Benjamin Watson: Very contentious, politically. And we can’t take that, we gotta think about that context as well. And so, you got a huge response from that. Like I said, I loved it. A lot of people didn’t like it. Where do you get that type of conviction from and what does that mean?  

Lecrae: Yeah, I think I, like every other human being, am in a constant state of learning and just trying to educate myself on perspectives and views. And because over the last five years, I really was not that interested in anything political until maybe the last five years, right? Over the last five years, I think I’ve engaged the political conversation way more than I had normally done. And in that process, I’m a very vocal person. 

So, I was processing out loud oftentimes. And then my plane landed. My plane landed in a place where it was like, wait a minute. I do believe that there are things we need to conserve. I do believe that there are areas we need to progress in, but ultimately, it’s because of what I see in Scripture. 

And then I look at the life of Jesus and I’m like, He really was not prioritizing it, a political agenda in and of itself. There’s a lot of political stuff happening during his time, right? With Rome, but what it was ultimately, what He was pushing was the kingdom.  

And I think I want kingdom priorities to take precedence versus these political kind of groupings. So, I’m like, Hey, what’s, where do I really stand? I stand with the Scriptures. I stand with Jesus versus whatever political parties are co-opting for the moment because oftentimes what happens…  

Benjamin Watson: But how does that happen practically for you? Because it’s difficult. We’re American, right? 

So, we’ve grown up in a two-party system. Yes, there’s independence, but it’s mostly a two-party system. Very polarized, bifurcated. You got one side against the other, and you’re forced to, if you want to engage in a political process, which I believe we all should, you have to make a choice, red or blue. 

Part of the frustration, I think, for people, and a lot of Christians criticize you for this, because you didn’t take their political side. But how do you practically walk that out in your everyday life, even at the ballot box? Now that might, I’m not asking you who you voted for, but how do you go into the ballot box and say, I’m kingdom, I’m not red or blue when you got to vote red or blue. 

Lecrae: So, what I think part of the problem is that we as Americans struggle with nuance, right? Nuances is the hard thing for us to grasp. If I’m a Atlanta Falcons fan and you’re a New Orleans Saints fan,  

Benjamin Watson: Why would you be a Falcons fan?  

Lecrae: I don’t know why you’d be a Saints fan, but that’s a different conversation. 

Benjamin Watson: What does that even mean? I don’t even know what that means.  

Lecrae: It means you’re a fan of teams that have been to the Super Bowl recently within the last, when’s the last time y’all were Saints were to the Super Bowl? I’m sorry. Anyway,  

Benjamin Watson: They actually won in 09. I wasn’t there.  

Lecrae: 09?  

Benjamin Watson: But they won in 09. When did the Falcons win?  

Lecrae: We’re not talking about when they won. It’s not what we’re saying. Anyway, I digress. Moving on. The point I’m trying to make here is that, if I’m a Falcons fan and you’re a Saints fan, oftentimes, let’s say there’s a player or a few players on each team that are, that we disagree with. 

That we’re like, man, I don’t really like how things are running or how these players are interacting. Oftentimes, we’re made to believe that we have to embrace it all in order to be an all-in fan. I’ve got to embrace all of the chaos and the things I disagree with that are happening on this team in order to say I’m still a Falcons fan. 

And I think oftentimes when it comes to political parties, there’s areas in the Democratic Party, there’s areas in the Republican Party where, as a Christian, I’m going to disagree with, right? But there’s areas you’re going to uphold that I’m going to agree with. And I think in those moments, I have to vote accordingly. I have to vote with, man, what is this candidate doing here? What do I believe ultimately matters in this particular situation? And what, how do I feel led in this area? And know that there’s nuance there, and it’s not going to be as black and white as I think we’d like it to be. 

Benjamin Watson: Nuance, too, sometimes, I think some people think the word nuance or complexity is a cop-out.  

Lecrae: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.  

Benjamin Watson: People feel like, oh, you’re just saying that because you’re wishy-washy on these issues. We can even say that sometimes about the abortion issue. So, when it comes to that issue, where do you stand on that issue? 

And I know it’s nuanced. And we’ll get into this because I know you’ve shared a lot about your experience, but where do you stand with that issue?  

Lecrae: Yeah. Case in point, I do not believe it is ethical, biblical to abort a child. I don’t agree with it. I do not as a Bible-believing Christian. 

I believe that as a Scripture says, “I knew you before you were in the womb.” I believe that there’s, we’re all, we’re spiritual beings, not just physical beings. And I believe that there’s a spirit that exists inside of a woman upon pregnancy. So, I cannot agree with aborting someone that has been crafted and being molded in the image of God. It’s not just biological material. It’s spiritual, so I would never be an advocate for that. I would never, I would always be an advocate for life. I think that the problem with when you see a lot of pro-life movements, oftentimes they’re focused on merely the act of abortion, right? 

Just merely like stopping this woman from having an abortion, not considering what it took for her to get to this place, or what happens after this decision is made. And I think that an unborn child is in many ways, it’s a pretty easy target to be an advocate for because they don’t push back. They don’t ask for money. They don’t have a criminal past. They’re not immigrants. They’re not poor. They’re, they’re not incarcerated. So, there’s a lot of reasons that they can become an easy target for specifically like political agendas because they don’t disagree with your political agenda. 

So, you can embrace them and say, hey, you’re part of my campaign when I don’t think that they’re limited to a political agenda. I think these are individuals and people who are made in God’s image that… It’s a biblical agenda more than anything. And if you’re going to care about them, you’ve got to care about people in general. 

You got to care about the immigrant, the poor, the orphan, the widow, and not just the unborn. Yeah, it’s an all-encompassing piece.  

Benjamin Watson: Oh, he said a lot right there. So, for me, would you say that’s probably in the last five years, would you say that’s probably one of your biggest frustrations with professing Christians? 

Lecrae: Absolutely. It’s one of them for sure. I think one is the polarization of politics and how politics has co-opted biblical agendas, right? I’m not mad at politics. I think that, like you said, the political process is necessary, but I hate the fact that Christians have made their political agenda supersede the biblical agenda to where we can find ourselves polarized and not agree with each other as brothers and sisters or love each other, brothers and sisters. 

And in the linchpin oftentimes becomes the issue of abortion, right? So, to say you are an advocate for life, for the sanctity of life, that you are pro-life in many ways to the outside world says, you have a political agenda that you agree with. And I think Christians are saying, hey, you’re doing something political that does not look like you advocate for life or, there’s a candidate over here, and we can talk about that, too, cause that’s something that happened in real-time. But again, I think Christians have just been manipulated in a lot of ways politically about an agenda that’s very biblical and not political.  

Benjamin Watson: Okay, talk about the candidate. So, if I think I’m right what you’re referring to is being supposedly in support of a candidate who stands on the wrong side of the life issue and how that impacted you, you got for that.  

Lecrae: Yeah, so, I mean I’m candid about the candidate. I was, you know…  

Benjamin Watson: You were in Georgia. You were invited to come. You were invited to come to something for, was it Senator Warnock? 

Lecrae: It was a Vote Early Rally. The mayor’s office called me. Hey, will you come do this Vote Early Rally? Both candidates are gonna be there. I said, oh, that doesn’t interfere with me. I want people to vote. And there’s two candidates. I did not know it was not a bipartisan, both candidates.  

What the mayor’s office meant was, both Democratic candidates are going to be there. So, I don’t want to get into the murky waters of what political party because it’s not about that for me and that’s great if that’s where you feel like God has taken you. That’s not where I feel like God was directing my path.  

So, I said, Sure, I’ll go. I’ll go. I get up there. I do one song and I get off stage. I did not know that it was, sponsored by Warnock and Ossoff. And I don’t agree with Warnock’s stance on abortion. Just flat out. I disagree with him.  

Benjamin Watson: Same here.  

Lecrae: But, because I was there, people took a narrative and said, Oh, he’s campaigning for abortion. That just became the narrative. Wait, how?  

Benjamin Watson: I saw that narrative.  

Lecrae: Yeah. Wait, how did rapping a song become me campaigning for abortion? I don’t even agree with the abortion. What’s happening here?  

And again, to me, that’s a lot of, that’s a whole nother issue, but I think that’s part of our problem, even with nuance, because what if I did genuinely want to campaign for Warnock, but I disagree with abortion? Is there even room for that nuance? That wasn’t the case for me, but that’s the case for some people. 

Benjamin Watson: And you should be able to be a Christian and campaign for a Republican or a Democrat. 

Lecrae: Absolutely.  

Benjamin Watson: And right now, you can’t do that in certain circles.  

Lecrae: Absolutely. Which is unfortunate because if Jesus says that we’re to be known by our love, I think this is a, the political system is a poor example of, it’s a poor excuse to not be defined by love. And I always use the, this analogy because I saw this movie Ben-Hur, had me crying on a plane. 

I don’t know if it was the elevation or the altitude or the film itself. But watching this iteration of Ben-Hur, this movie Ben-Hur, and if you know about Ben-Hur, basically, he’s this Jewish man at the time of Jesus. And he’s captured. He’s asked to participate in these chariot games, which are bloody and violent. 

The Romans want him to participate. He’s a Jew. He’s: I’m not doing that. That’s against our culture, against our views, but he ends up doing it in order to gain his freedom. And he begins to win these chariot games. And as he’s winning. The Jews start peering in and saying, Ooh, he’s winning. He’s beating the Romans, and he wins. 

And someone goes to the Roman emperor and says, Are you upset that the Jews are winning in our chariot games? And the Roman emperor says, No, as long as they’re playing, I don’t care if they win or lose. And I think that’s what begins to happen to us as believers. We start focusing on the empire and not the kingdom. 

And we had caught up in who’s gonna win or lose. And the empire doesn’t care what side you vote for as long as you’re in the process. The empire doesn’t care as long as you’re not bringing in kingdom values into the empire agenda.  

Benjamin Watson: Wow. Wow. That’s good. That’s a good illustration. I think that sometimes it makes you want to shrink back and protect yourself. 

Lecrae: For sure.  

Benjamin Watson: Especially when those who are supposed to be your brothers and sisters in Christ and supporters and fans of your music and who you are as a person, hurl vile insults or mischaracterizations and all those sorts of things. But yet you have found a way, Lecrae, to continue on in the purpose God has placed you here for. 

And that’s not just to create music. That’s part of it, but it’s sharing the gospel. It ultimately is sharing the gospel, it’s encouraging people, it’s, yeah, part of it’s entertainment as a musician and making beautiful music, but it’s much larger than that. And the enemy will want nothing more than to take those times when you’ve been mischaracterized or misunderstood or maybe done something that you shouldn’t have done. 

And people hurling things at you and make you shrink back and shy away from your calling. Just affirming you in that.  

Another thing you tweeted, we’ll get back to Twitter. Yeah.  

Lecrae: Yeah. What else I say?  

Benjamin Watson: And you’ve been open about this. Obviously, you stand for life. We’re talking about the issue of abortion and getting back to that. 

Back in 2019 you tweeted that you paid for an abortion. You regret it. “I won’t pretend I’m fully educated on the policy nuances or women’s experiences. I just don’t seem to hear the voices crying against the murder of children inside the womb. Also crying about those outside the womb.”  

Lecrae: That’s right. 

Benjamin Watson: You already touched on that. And how frustrating that is. But. What did you mean by, by that tweet exactly? 

Lecrae: Yeah. I wrote a song on my album, Anomaly, called “Good, Bad, Ugly,” where I detailed what happened with me paying for the abortion. And he’s talking about a kid who, comes from a broken family. Broken, dysfunctional background. Dating a young lady. Just some young, some young kids trying to figure it out. Barely made it into adulthood. 

And she lives in a very disenfranchised community, which is across the street from an abortion clinic. Obviously, I wasn’t walking with God and, she got pregnant and for no other reason other than, Oh shoot, what do we do? We’re too young to take care of this child. We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t have, we didn’t know what our options were, right?  

Never had anybody come to her community or my community and say, Hey, we want to help you. Here’s a solution. Never had any good, healthy talks about parenting or any of those particular things.  

And so, we felt like our only solution in essence, we’re both working at a call center, and so we felt like our only solution was to have an abortion. Paid for it, and she was immediately traumatized.  

I think I, I masked it. And I covered it up. And I felt, phew, good. That’s done. But years later, the trauma of it hit me. And even today, I think about the fact that there’s, there should be, a 20-something-year-old person, child of mine existing, and that I robbed this child of the opportunity to live and to be who God created them to be. So that, that disturbs my soul. And yeah, I carry a lot of guilt, a lot of shame, a lot of pain for that, that Jesus covers, thank God. 

And yeah, I hear a lot of people say, man, we need to advocate for that life that’s inside the womb. But man, before there was a life inside that womb, we were two kids who came from broken, dysfunctional backgrounds that nobody reached out to that these organizations and all the town criers… Matter of fact, I remember seeing people protesting in front of the clinic, and those same people there, they weren’t in our neighborhood, providing tools or skills or anything else.  

And I think that’s my struggle, is how do we create preventative measures versus just stop this act as it’s happening? You know what I mean?  

Benjamin Watson: Yeah. Because it seems hypocritical of people to do all that shouting and crying about the preborn, but then they won’t engage in preventative measures. So, if you can, taking yourself back to you being that young man and the young woman, what would have made the difference at that moment? If there were, there was something somebody could have said or could have done, or maybe it’s just a host of things. 

 Was there anything that may have made a difference for you all in that point of crisis?  

Lecrae: I think it’s a few things. Obviously, I can’t speak for her. I can speak for myself. Because I convinced her. It was definitely me. Like, she was head over heels for me and would have done whatever I thought was the wisest thing to do in that moment. 

 But I think for me as man, I didn’t feel like there were really opportunities. I remember writing a letter.  

Benjamin Watson: What do you mean by that? Opportunities? 

Lecrae: Opportunities for financial stability. Yep. So, I felt like there was a lack of financial stability. I’m at a call center. I was mad, and I remember writing a letter to a Black journalist at the time, like, hoping he would get it. 

And I was like, man, you promote all this stuff. Give me a job. Give me an internship. Get me out of this. I’m working at this call center, smoking cigarettes. I’m a great guy. So, I didn’t feel like there were, I didn’t know of any opportunities that would help me to be that.  

Also, I didn’t grow up with a father. My father was in and out of prison. He abandoned me. I don’t know any life skills. I don’t even know what it means to be a dad. I never had this laid out for me. I don’t, I didn’t have any mentor. There’s just a lack of leadership in my community that could have even helped me navigate certain spaces and teach me what to do. 

How do I break the cycle? I was afraid of being a dad because I was afraid I was end up like my dad in a lot of ways. What helps me break the cycle? That’s one thing.  

Another thing is I didn’t know there were any other options. Like, adoption never even, I never even would have considered that. I didn’t even know what my options were. I didn’t know any financial support. And let me tell you something my mother told me, man. And I don’t blame my mother because this is the way she was raised, but she was like, I’m not taking care of no babies.  

Benjamin Watson: Yeah, I already took care of y’all.  

Lecrae: So, I’m like, shoot. 

Benjamin Watson: Yeah, I took care of y’all.  

Lecrae: I don’t know what to do. So, I think it was just a lack of education and opportunities available to me.  

Benjamin Watson: There’s a young man right now in your neighborhood where you grew up. He’s in the same situation. Say something directly to him. 

Lecrae: Man, what’s funny is that I’ve sat across from a lot of you. And I’ve said the same thing.  

One, I would say, man, even if you don’t have a father, man, there is a father in God. And He’s the ultimate provider. He’s the ultimate coach. He’s the ultimate guide. And one, you got to lean into Him. 

I would say two, man, there are resources and man, you’re in a time now where information is at your fingertips with the internet, man. And there are people and resources and folks who can get you counseling, who can get you to be able to sit down with you and support you. And I know what it feels like to not have a support group. I know what it feels like to not have a stable family that can support you through crisis. 

 But I will say that, this is a life and you can’t bring it back. You can’t bring life back once it’s gone. But right now, you have the opportunity to become something that you have never been before. And it’s going to take work, and it’s not going to be easy. And it’s going to be a challenge, and you’re going to face difficulties, but you don’t have to do it alone. 

And the reason why I’m here today is because I want to be a part of organizations, I want to be a part of communities, I want to be a part of advocates that give you that help that you need because I didn’t have it, and I want you to be able to have that.  

Benjamin Watson: That was all that was off the cuff, but I appreciate it. 

Lecrae: Yeah, absolutely.  

Benjamin Watson: You mentioned this organization. So, Stand For Life. The purpose is to mobilize the Church, and I believe that the Church has a huge role in advocating for life, wraparound services. Four in 10 women, s tatistics say, that have abortions are in our pews, which I think also means 4 in 10 men are probably there as well. 

 Abortion isn’t just like, out there. It’s in here. And so from your perspective and your experience with the Church, which I don’t know exactly what that is, what have you seen the church? Let’s start positive. What have you seen the church do?  

Lecrae: Man, I’ve seen the church do a lot of things in terms of again, I’m talking about whole life, right? Womb to the tomb. One of the things I’ve seen in church do well is take great care of pregnant mothers. I’ve seen that happen. I’ve seen it time and time again. I’ve been involved in churches like that. 

I’ve seen them not shame them for being pregnant, especially if they’re pregnant with no husband, no boyfriend around. I’ve seen them take care of these women and advocate for these women. I’ve also seen community centers and programs set up to provide support systems.  

But more than anything I’ve seen churches get in the community, not just a Sunday situation, right? Not just what I would call like a Broadway production on Sundays, but become the hands and feet of the community and get out there and be a part of the community and know the neighborhood, know these people and provide for these people in their times of need, in their times of struggle. 

Benjamin Watson: Yeah. Yeah. So, it sounds like you’re talking about relationship.  

Lecrae: Absolutely.  

Benjamin Watson: Like, it’s one thing, and that’s what it’s all about. Even when you look at, through Scripture, it’s about having a relationship with people and that takes more time.  

It’s easy to just drop in and drop out. It’s easy to just to spout like some statistics. It’s easy to say you should do this and you shouldn’t do that. It’s much harder to actually build a relationship with people. How do churches do that better? Because I know there’s definitely some room for improvement. How would you like to see the Church improve, womb to tomb, building relationships? 

Lecrae: You got to listen. You got… authority, in order to become an authority, it means you sat under authority. So, the reason why I’m an authority on sneakers is because I’ve sat under the authority of other people who have taught me this. And so, in order for you to become an authority on relational building, you need to sit under the authority of folks who’ve done it well, or the people who need that relationship.  

You don’t know what they need because you’re not listening to them. We have a messiah complex. We walk in the community and say, I got everything you need. And without asking questions and getting to know people. 

And so, that’s one of the things that, for me, I often face pushback and blowback and I’m like, whatever, man, because at the end of the day, the work still has to be done. Whether you disagree with me or don’t like me or whatever, there’s still work that needs to be done. So, I got to get out here and do the work.  

And I know what work really needs to be done because I’m really there on a regular basis. I got family still in these communities. I’ve lived in them most of my life. So, because I’m there, I see the realities that kind of the armchair critics are not seeing and no, you play pro ball. You tell me, has a quarterback ever changed the play because something the fan said? 

Benjamin Watson: Negative.  

Lecrae: Okay. Man, you can’t just be a spectator in the stands. You gotta, you’re gonna have to get in the game, and I can’t just sit and do commentary and watch ESPN and then jump on the field and say, all right, I got this y’all, I got this. I’m going to have to sit under the captain and the coach to learn what needs to happen. 

Benjamin Watson: Yeah. So, let’s break it down a little further. So, according to stats, Black women, Black community has four times, three to four times the abortion rate. So, the abortion disproportionately impacts Black communities. And so what you’re saying is, if I want to know how to impact those communities and fix that area, which is disproportionately impacted, I need to listen to voices in that community.  

Lecrae: Absolutely. You need to listen to those voices, and you need to listen to the voices of people who are spending time there. 

Because what a lot of people don’t understand is, abortion is not the disease. It’s the symptom, right? It’s the symptom. Now, obviously the ultimate disease is our fallen humanity, of course, but in the chain of events, no one wakes up and arrives at abortion. There’s a series of things that happen to get you to this place, a series of beliefs that you have a series of realities that you’ve experienced that puts you in this position in the first place. 

And how are we dealing with that? How are we helping people to navigate those chain of things that have taken place in order for that to happen?  

So as an example, what’s one reason why some of these young ladies maybe have an abortion? Oh, because let’s say because the fathers are inconsistent. Why are the fathers inconsistent? Oh, they’re in prison. Oh, why are they in prison? Oh, because they’re committing crimes. Why are they committing crimes? Because they don’t have any jobs. Oh, why don’t they have any jobs? Because they’re not given opportunities or the educational system that they grew up in is not good. 

So, what if we work on the educational system? What if we educate them? What if we find them job opportunities? Now they can provide. Now they’re not doing criminal activities to get money. Now they are consistent in the lives of the women that are getting pregnant. You just helped one particular aspect of the situation, and that’s the spider web, right? 

There’s so many other issues, but that’s just one of them. 

Benjamin Watson: Roll that one back. Play it again. All right. That was good. Thank you. Alright.  

Church Clothes 4. Dude, that junk was amazing. I listened to it like over, I was on a plane. I might have tweeted from 36, 000 feet.  

Lecrae: Wow.  

Benjamin Watson: Y’all listen to this? You listen to this? It was the album, it was on. If it would have been like one of them old tapes that we had back in the day, it would have been ruined. Y’all been passing around. I would have dubbed it probably. Passing around. And then tore it up. It would have been, it was an amazing album.  

Lecrae: Yeah. Appreciate that.  

Benjamin Watson: You boldly talk about a lot of cultural issues. It was almost like you were just like, you know what? I don’t really care what y’all think. I got to get this off my chest because I’ve got something to say.  

Lecrae: Very true. That’s very true.  

Benjamin Watson: I like the way you put that. That’s what it sounded like. And you talk about abortion. There’s a couple lines here, a couple bars I want to read. In your song, “Spread the Opps:”  

Lord, help me kill all my demons.
I look in the mirror, I seen them.
I had a BM. I forced her to get an abortion.
I pray when I die, I can meet him.  

Lecrae: Yeah. Yeah. Again, I remember I just got engaged to my wife and we weren’t engaged. We were dating and she was, we were going through some pictures and I, I’m throwing out all these ex-girlfriends’ pictures like, oh, this is going out. This is going out. We’re done with this.  

Benjamin Watson: Burn that.  

Lecrae: Yeah. Burn that. And it was one picture and I was like, ah, I’m struggling to let this picture go. And it was a picture of the mother of my would-be child. And she was like, you need to give her this picture. And I was like, man, this is… and I just broke. 

I had never cried about it, right? I broke, and I told her who this was. And it was a, it was an intense moment because I didn’t even know I was carrying that amount of trauma. I didn’t know that I was carrying that. So, it’s like, there’s not a day that doesn’t go by for me that I don’t think about that reality. 

There should be someone here that’s not here. And I am culpable for that reality. And the hope that I have is that there’s a gracious God who you know, much like David said after his child had passed, I cannot go to him, he’s gone but I’ll see him again. And that’s the hope that I have, is that I will see my child again in glory, and I’m grateful that heaven is a great place because, man, I’m trying to hold it together here today, man. You got me…  

I’m grateful that heaven is a place of grace and no sin and no hatred or judgment because it would be very difficult to look my child in the eyes and know, yeah, I put you here. You know what I mean? It’s a wonderful place you’re in, but at the same time, I’m very culpable for your reality, and I robbed you of some experiences. And again, I’m grateful for God for him to put me in a position to have that as a reality that I can hang on to. 

Benjamin Watson: There’s definitely forgiveness. And there’s no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.  

Lecrae: Amen. Amen.  

Benjamin Watson: I think that there are a lot of people, a lot of men, because we don’t talk a lot about the men. A lot of times the men suffer in silence. Men that I’ve talked to, it’s a women’s issue. And not just the right to decide to have an abortion. But on the flip side of that, it’s a women’s issue in that we don’t think about the men who are traumatized and suffering or feel guilt because of their role in abortion.  

And not that you need anybody else to tell you this because it’s been told to you, and I don’t have a heaven or hell to put anybody in like my grandma used to say, but I know when I read that book, there’s no condemnation. And there’s forgiveness and there’s grace under the blood. 

You got to believe if He’s powerful enough to cleanse all of our sin, He’s powerful enough to cleanse every one of them, including that. 

Lecrae: You preach.  

Benjamin Watson: And there’s power. I think that part of the importance of the Church and while the Church, meaning the collective body of Christ, has to be involved. 

It’s because abortion is making us abdicate our power to reach the masses. But like we’re not living to the fullest and fulfilling what God has for us individually, you and collectively as a body, because of the guilt and the stain of abortion. And Satan’s having a ticker-tape parade because 40% of our churches are burdened down by the sin of abortion in ways that are different than maybe some others. 

And Satan’s yeah, I got you guys on the sideline because you won’t talk about it. You don’t feel like you can have forgiveness You’re mired in guilt, and it makes sense because of the magnitude of what happened. You have trauma. No one will reach out to you. You know, a lot of times your purpose will come out of your pain. Your mission will come out of those things that were most miserable in your life.  

Lecrae: That’s good. And I think you, it just makes me, it also just made me think of something. It’s like, the reality of why I feel like specifically like in disenfranchised Black and brown communities there may be more silence on the issue is because it is, it’s a constant reality. And by and large, we’re small in certain terms of population, we make up 12% of the population as African Americans, 14 maybe.  

And so, within the church, you’re even smaller. And man, why am I going to shame my congregation? You know what I mean? Why? Because that’s what it feels like.  

Benjamin Watson: When we got so much we’re dealing with already.  

Lecrae: Exactly.  

Benjamin Watson: We’re traumatized in so many other areas. Generationally, this is just another one compounded on that. Why am I going to bring it up?  

Lecrae: And I think that becomes it. So, it should be more of a circumstance of care and concern versus, another kick in the face. It’s, man, we love you. We care about you. We want to support you. We want to see a healthy decision made. Not, I want to punch you.  

I had a young man come to me, and he was in tears because he was like, man, I got her pregnant and I don’t know what to do. And I said to him, I said, what’s the thing that’s stressing you out the most? And one was shame, but two was, how am I going to do this? 

And I was like, number one, ain’t nothing like nothing that the grace of God can’t cover in terms of your shame. But number two, we’re going to help you. We’re going to help you. And we’re gonna support you and we’re gonna make sure. And that’s exactly what I did. And that’s exactly how he felt when he walked out of that with myself and some other people who rallied around him did. 

And at the end of the day, there’s a healthy child in this world now that because he felt cared for and he felt like, all right, I got support. And I think that’s a big piece of it is that shame piece, man, and then the support piece.  

Benjamin Watson: Yeah. Yeah, man. I appreciate you, dawg.  

Lecrae: No, man. Listen, I’m grateful. 

Benjamin Watson: I appreciate you. Appreciate you. Seriously, I appreciate your willingness to share and be vulnerable. To speak about it on this platform but also in your music. I appreciate how steadfast you are, and before being a friend, I was a fan. I’m still a fan. You know what I mean? I just told my kids, I just FaceTimed them, I’m about to go talk to Lecrae. They about lost their mind.  

Lecrae: Even if I rap at Vote Early Rallies, they still?  

Benjamin Watson: We cool. Now, some of their friends at school might not be, some of the other parents, but we cool with it. We cool with it.  

Lecrae: Oh man, I appreciate you, man. It’s an honor, you know. 

Benjamin Watson: Is there anything else you want to address that I didn’t ask you? 

Lecrae: I think no, I mean, again. I think the thing that if I haven’t said it enough, is man, you got to give people space and grace because people are, they’re not robots. They need a community of folks who can love them through whatever it is that they’re navigating and processing, and they don’t need to feel shame. 

I think nuance is a hard thing for people to grasp, especially the body of Christ, right? Because we’re very black and white when the reality is a lot of what we think is true, is really what someone else taught us is true.  

And what we need to do is, hey, I need to know God’s Word for myself. I need to know the context. I need to know the proper, to use a seminary word, exegesis. But I need to know this so that I don’t just believe these cultural views on this, but I really know what it is saying because that cultural view tends to make us very judgmental, very impersonal, and we get washed over more about culture than by Scripture. And what ends up happening is, we don’t know how to wrestle with nuance and the issue of abortion. 

There’s a lot of nuance to it, especially as it pertains to politics, right? Like the issue of abortion as it pertains to Scripture, I told you what I believe. I believe man instantly. It’s a spirit. That’s not just by that’s not biological material. That’s spiritual, right?  

But as it pertains to what’s happening in our society and our culture, it’s very nuanced. And I think that’s the part that I want us to wrestle with is that, man, that if somebody votes differently than you, that doesn’t mean they don’t love Jesus. That doesn’t mean that they advocate for abortion. It doesn’t mean, and if someone who does see themselves as pro-choice, it’s not your opportunity to shun them and say I’m better than them and I got this figured out and they don’t.  

It’s your opportunity to make a friend and to love somebody and to encourage them and to share Information. Because ultimately, we’re gonna be marked by our love and you never know what that leads to, so again, man, I think again, less judgment. 

Jesus didn’t come judging. He came loving. You know what I mean? He said, I didn’t come to condemn but to save. So, let’s save, folks, man. That’s it.  

Benjamin Watson: That’s a wrap.